If their recent accolades are any indication, folks are finally starting to catching on to what I’ve known for the past two years: East Passyunk Avenue is awesome.
Tomorrow, the avenue’s 150 independently owned shops and 30-plus award-winning eateries won’t be celebrating April’s “Second Saturday” in the usual fashion. Rather, they’re collectively promising to deliver EPA’s largest Second Saturday to-date.
In addition to various sales, art openings, tastings and music performances, the line-up of happenings includes the grand openings of two new businesses: Occasionette Gift Shop (5-10pm, 1825 EPA) and the city’s second location of Oliver & Company Tea Room (1613 EPA).
On Wednesday, the East Passyunk Business Improvement District is hosting a party around the Singing Fountain (Passyunk & Tasker) to celebrate having just been dubbed one of the “10 Best Foodie Streets in America” in the May 2013 issue of Food & Wine Magazine. From 5-7 p.m., all are invited to come and make a group toast with a photo around the Fountain while enjoying the folk tunes of DisCanto. Meanwhile, several nearby restaurants including, Stateside and Fond will be offering happy hour specials.
This is all of course, leading up to Flavors of the Avenue on Sat., April 27, the neighborhood’s annual outdoor food and drink festival featuring a record-setting 25 restaurants.
Anyway, back to the events going down tomorrow, here’s a few that stood out to me:
Le Virtu – Enjoy omplimentary stuzzichini (snacks) and wine while admiring the photographs of Kateri Likoudis, all taken in south/central Italian region of Abruzzo in the late spring and fall of 2012. Abruzzese folk group DisCanto will also perform. (1-3pm, 1927 EPA)
Nice Things…Handmade – Check out new recent paintings of local artist Bridget Mccafferty, the printing hands behind Typsy Gypsy Tees. Meet the artist and enjoy refreshments. (6-10pm, 1731 EPA)
HOME | A Furnishings Boutique – For this new photo and art exhibition, Philly-based artists Felicia Perretti and Hawk Krall have teamed up to showcase the most well-known food spots along East Passyunk. (6pm, 1815 EPA)
Lucky 13 – The bar/restaurant will be showcasing the artwork of Paul Carpenter as well as a trunk show by Sweet Jane Vintage. In addition to the drink specials, Sweet Jane’s vintage finds will be 20-50 percent off. (1-5pm, 1820 S. 13th St.)
N.R.S. Boutique – Take 20 percent off all items in the store. (11:30am-8pm, 1822 EPA)
Ms Goody Cupcake – Foodspotting is celebrating its third anniversary with a special party with cake truffles buy 2 get 1 free, $2 dollar special flavor cupcakes and spring flavor sampling. You’ll also score a free coffee with any purchase in morning. (9am-4pm, 1838 EPA)
Frame Fatale – Opening reception for “Postcards from the Ledge: Philadelphia Windows,” featuring the black and white photography of RA Friedman. More specifically, the photographer will be presenting a selection of captured reflections and odd spaces of the Philly landscape in silvery postcard-sized prints. (6-9pm, 1813 EPA)
Metro Men’s Clothing – Enjoy 15 percent off and complimentary cocktails while you shop. (1615 EPA)
Noir Philadelphia – After making your way down the avenue, stop in for a late night happy hour. The deals include $1 off drafts, $4 wine, $4 well drinks and half-off select appetizers at the bar. (9-11pm, 1909 EPA)
Crafty Balboa Holiday: With more than 60 local art vendors in attendance, everyone on your list should be covered. If you’re shopping for your sister or mom, check out Penelope Rakov’s colorful blown jewelry and the sophisticated yet quirky textiles and wares of Kaye Rachelle Designs. For the men in your life, consider one of Recycled Rowhouse’s revamped pieces of furniture or the folklore-inspired books and prints of Huldra Press. This year’s event will also feature two fun new additions: a holiday-themed photo booth and a live print-your-own-wrapping-paper demo from South Philly’s mobile art studio, ColorWheels. Be one of first 50 shoppers to arrive and you’ll even score a free goodie bag. 11am. Free. SS Neumann Goretti High School, 1736 S. Tenth St.
Holiday Second Saturday: Before and/or after you hit up Crafty Balboa, be sure to stick around and wander through the neighborhood, as there will be all sorts of festivities going down. From 1-3pm, follow the holly jolly tunes of strolling musicians as they make their way up and down East Passyunk Avenue and stop by the Alphabet Garden (1631 EPA) to get your photo taken with Santa. Meanwhile, Sermania Jewelry (1719 EPA) will be slashing prices on their selection of bling and from 6-10pm., Nice Things…Handmade (1731 EPA) will host its 3rd Annual Ornament Show. Last but not least, grab a beer at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar (1200 EPA) where Traveling Wares will be presenting an art and craft show to help raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Various times and locations.
DIY Christmas Gift Workshop: Save yourself some cash and get a little crafty as a group of skilled artists and crafters show you how to make everything from ornaments and homemade vanilla extract to a homemade clock and wreath. Some gifts may cost a few bucks, others are free. 12-4pm. $0-$10. Circle of Hope, 1115 S. Broad St.
Book Paper Scissors: Put down your Kindles and iPad for one afternoon and join the Philadelphia Center for Books in celebrating both old-school and contemporary book arts, printmaking and paper crafts. An array of vendors will be setting up shop inside the Free Library for this annual book fair, selling hundreds of affordable paper-based creations—everything from zines and origami to paper sculpture and jewelry. Meanwhile, guests of all ages have a chance to explore these art forms themselves during one of two free workshops. 10am. Free. Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
Rejoice Craft Event: Tis the season to recycle and reuse! The skilled craftsmen (and craftsladies?) of Handmade Philly will be leading a workshop all afternoon, guiding the not-so-crafty in making their very own gifts and decoration. Not only will you be getting their advice and assistance free of charge, but all necessary supplies will be included. The Resource Center, a nonprofit center championing the creative reuse of various discarded materials, will have plenty of affordable, reclaimed materials for sale. Oh, and to top it all off, Philadelphia Brewing Co. will be bringing along some refreshments. 12-5pm. Free. The Resource Exchange, 2829 Cedar St.
Punk Rock Flea Market: Ah yes, the shopping event I’ve waited all year for. At this point, I probably don’t need to say very much about R5’s Productions’ annual shopping extravaganza considering how insane the turn out is. Though I swear they say this every year, supposedly this is going to be their “biggest one yet!” with over three hundred tables of anything and everything your heart could possibly desire. Personally, I find the best deals are with the miscellaneous personal vendors selling their unwanted items. Seriously, who sells a perfectly good pair of kitten heel shoes for $3? 10am-5pm. $3. The Punk Rock Flea Market-Dome, 461 N. Ninth St.
Sculpere Burn Workshop & Jewelry Sale: Looking to shed a few more lbs before Christmas, but still have some shopping to do? No worries, local designer and owner of Adorn Boutique, Sarah Lewis is going to help you kill two birds with one stone. Discover the Sculpere Burn, an intense full body workout that speeds up your heart rate ballet and slows it down with intervals of yoga, before heading downstairs and rewarding yourself with complimentary mimosas and 30 percent off the boutique’s amazing selection of handcrafted jewelry, accessories, clothing and gifts. 12-2pm. Free. Adorn Boutique, 1314 Frankford Ave.
Schuylkill Center’s Winterfest: Do a little shopping and a little crafting. A total of 25 local eco-artists will be onsite selling lovely gifts while other artists will be leading several different workshops throughout the day should you want to your own. Your options: a wreath, ornaments, cards/stationary, recycled art and jewelry. Starting at 6 p.m., you’ll even have a chance to do a little star gazing as you roast marshmallows on a campfire. 2-8pm. Free. Schuylkill Center, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road.
On Saturday, there was an unusual bustle along East Passyunk Avenue as a slew of its shops and businesses celebrated Second Saturday, many hosting events in conjunction with DesignPhiladelphia. From a Sustainable Streets Scavenger Hunt and Urban Design Walking Tour to Passyunk Square’s Annual Fall Home Tour, the afternoon offered plenty of things to see and do.
At night, several businesses kept their doors open late including my personal fave, Nice Things….Handmade which held a Men of Craft event, showcasing the original wares and artworks of some of Philly’s most crafty fellas. As always, I spent at least an hour inside the boutique ogling over all of the cool handmade items and wound up going home with cards from Black Heart Letterpress and Fifi Duvie.
Meanwhile, just across the street, Fringe Salon celebrated the opening of local artist Avalon Clare’s new exhibit “South Philly in South Philly.” Serving as an ode to East Passyunk Avenue and those who have made it the eclectic street it is today, the small collection of fun digital drawings feature several of the neighborhood’s friendly familiar faces.
I spend quite a bit of time wandering down the avenue and wound up getting a big camera happy so here’s a bunch of miscellaneous photos.
If you notice an usual amount of congestion this afternoon in Midtown Village it’s because all of the lovely neighborhood’s even lovelier boutiques and shops are rolling their merch out onto the sidewalk for this annual outdoor shopping block party. At Duross & Langel, customers will receive up to 50 percent off all soaps while both Open House and Verde will be taking up to 50 percent off summer items. Also, be sure to stop by Scarlet Fiorella where local jewelry designer Sultana Maria will be selling her cool, one-of-a-kind statement pieces. Shoppers are encouraged to BYOB (as in, bring-your-own-bag—not booze) and to hit up the shops early—thus ensuring more awesome items to choose from. Friday 11am-7pm. Free. @ Various Locations along 13th St. (between Sansom & Chestnut Sts.)
Sure, the First Friday festivities along Frankford Avenue are pretty great, but East Passyunk Avenue is offering locals a whole lot more than the usual free wine and cool art this Saturday. Hit up Ms. Goody Cupcake (1838 EPA) early and get yourself six cupcakes for just $10 before heading to The Bottle Shop (1837 EPA) for a free Widmer’s Beer Sampling from 6-8 p.m. Should you get any frosting or beer on your outfit, head over to Nicole Rae Styer Boutique (1822 EPA) where all summer items, including dresses, tanks and shorts will be 50 percent off between 5-9 p.m. Customers will also receive a free one-of-a-kind hair accessory with any purchase of $100 or more. As for the art openings, South Philly Comics (1840 EPA) will host a show by JoeHero with snacks and drinks from 5-10 p.m. while Nice Things Handmade (1731 EPA) will be showcasing limited edition hand drafted originals by local artist, Sara Selepouchin, creator of Girls Can Tell from 6-10 p.m. If you’ve never seen her line of super-cute diagram adorned housewares, be sure to check out her new South Philly boutique (1725 S. 12th St.). Saturday, 6-10pm. Free. @ Various locations along East Passyunk Ave.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash could very well be your treasure. So if you find yourself in West Philly on Saturday, you should definitely consider checking out The International Action Center’s massive annual garage sale. The plethora of awesome, gently used shit up for grabs includes clothing, jewelry, accessories, small furniture and home appliances, books, records, plants and toys. Proceeds from the event will help cover expenses for the IAC Solidarity Center office. Saturday, 10am-4pm. Free. @ Calvary Church (48th & Baltimore)
It’s Friday in the City of Brotherly Love… and for the first time this week, I’m no longer contemplating buying a paddle boat or building an ark. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful into this weekend, because there are quite a few things happening in town!
//REWARD Mid-Season Sale REWARD Boutique in Old City had me at hello; unique clothing, sweet staff and they may or may not have hosted a secret show for one of my favorite bands around the New Year. This coming Friday, May 8th, a mid-season sale is starting for swim, shorts, sandals and dresses. Selected collections for both men and women are going to be on sale– with up to 40% off SS’09 Wood Wood, Paul & Joe Sister, Ksubi, Tsumori Chisato, and many more!
//PAFA 108th Annual Student Exhibition “A PAFA tradition for over a century, this exhibition allows visitors to see and purchase works by BFA students… A free public preview reception of the Annual Student Exhibition will take place Friday”
The ASE Public Opening takes place on Friday, May 8, 2009. The event runs from 5.00 pm – 8.30 pm in the Samual M.V. Hamilton Building. More info here.
//JENNA LEIGH Runway Show featuring America’s Next Top Models “Local designer Jenna Leigh, along with America’s Next Top Models, Caridee English and Jaslene Gonzalez, and world-renowned celebrity spin master, DJ Berrie will unveil the Autumn/Winter 2009 Jenna Leigh collection”
//Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival This is a favorite of mine. Starting Saturday morning, Walnut Sreet will be closed down from Broad to 19th to host a pedestrian parade and events. The event is rain or shine and there is more info here.
//Second Saturday Don’t miss the final Second Saturday open mic of the season! It will be held at the Painted Bride in Old City.
“Second Saturday was created to provide a less commercial, open, inspirational cafe in which local artists can gather to share, discuss, and perform their work. At Second Saturday open-mic events, anyone is welcome to perform, hang out, and enjoy the free organic coffee and wi-fi. These free events are held from 12-3pm, so we strongly encourage performers to arrive by 12:30 to sign up in order to secure a spot.
Past performances have included spoken word artists, vocalists, jazz guitar, a tabla and sitar duet, folk music, ‘rhapsodic essayists’, collaborative poetry writing, and more! So bring your instruments, voice, poems, stories, miming/juggling skills, monologues, etc. and hang out with us this Saturday afternoon.”
For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-925-9914 ext. 17.
SUNDAY: Happy Mother’s Day!
//If your Mom totally rocks, go to World Cafe Live The Mothers Day Brunch at World Cafe Live seats from 11am- 2pm. There will be a special Mother’s Day Menu created by Executive Chef, Matthew Babbage; The menus is a la carte and ranges from Smoked Salmon to Cheese Blintzes to Eggs Norwegian. The brunch will take place upstairs and there will be – of course- live music by the LP Stiles Trio. Reservations recommended (215) 222-1400 or here.
//If your mom is a little batty, go to the Philadelphia Zoo! On Sunday the Philadelphia Zoo will be seating Brunch attendees at two seatings– 9:45am and then at 12pm noon. The breakfast includes a buffet, “an up-close animal encounter”, a craft for the kids in the Zoo’s Peacock Pavilion. What I think is the coolest is the self-guided tour of the Zoo’s animal mothers (aww!). All reservations must be made in advance here.
//Scarlett Alley If you want to go shopping for Mom and help moms across the world, be sure to check out Scarlett Alley in Old City. If you visit their website here they will donate 10% of your purchase to the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women & Children, when you use promo code 1231 at the time of checkout.